17 Oct 2002

Power failures affect Bougainville phone services

12:14 pm on 17 October 2002

There are reports essential services in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville are nearly at a standstill.

A lack of funding has been an ongoing issue for the island since the process of rebuilding its infrastructure began.

This has led to periodic problems getting diesel to the island to power the electricity generators and this impacts on other utilities.

Our Correspondent, Peter Niesi, reports one of the key services now affected is the phone system.

"And the telephone lines naturally affect the banking scenario at the moment there is only one sub-branch of the PNGBC - Bank of South Pacific on the island and whenever the phone system is down then it's difficult to have any financial transactions take place."